Detroit Pistons: Mario Hezonja is Only International Prospect to Consider Drafting


With the Detroit Pistons in need of a wing this offseason, they can solve this dilemma in this years draft. Croatian Mario Hezonja, may be the answer.

International players enter the draft every year, hoping to make it in the NBA.  Each year, these foreign players seem to be either highly touted or not even considered to be a late second round picks.

But ever since the infamous Darko Milicic pick in 2003, that saw superstars Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Carmelo Anthony, the thought of considering to draft a foreign player in the first round is poison to the ears of Detroit Pistons fans.

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However, there’s one international prospect in the 2015 NBA Draft that could break that feeling from the majority of Pistons fans.  His name: Mario Hezonja.

Hezonja is 6’8” and 200 pounds, with a decent wingspan.  He also has great athleticism being able to explode to the basket with great quickness, is able to shoot with consistency and has an overall great physical talent that gives him a fighting edge against bigger players on both sides of the court.

He can also pass well, being able to dish the rock when he has to with ease.  Hezonja can also play on ball defensive effectively, and can handle big men in the post when need be.

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  • With this, Hezonja does lack some focus on defense and tends to turn the ball over, trying to make the complicated play instead of the easy play.  He also can be a ball hog and although a good ball handler, lacks creativity.

    Even with the catastrophe of the Milicic pick, selecting Hezonja with the eighth overall pick would be one of the best options the Pistons would have.  Other than Hezonja, the only wing likely to be available (and picked this early) at number eight would be Arizona’s Stanley Johnson. While he does have a really good potential, he doesn’t have as much upside as Hezonja.

    Again, drafting Hezonja this early is highly risky due to how unproven he is.  With Johnson, he played in the Pac-12, went to the Elite 8 in this year’s March Madness and has shown that he has great athleticism and skill that can translate to the NBA.

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  • On the other hand, Hezonja only played in Europe in which he only averaged 4.7 PPG, 1.9 RPG and 1.1 APG in his three year career both with FC Barcelona and Liga ACB.  Compare to Darko’s 7.6 PPG, 3.9 RPG and 0.6 APG, Hezonja doesn’t seem as good stats-wise as possibly the most hated player in Pistons history.

    But, any other international prospect doesn’t show the potential Hezonja possesses, and I wouldn’t target any other foreign born player other than Hezonja, including 7-footer Kristaps Porzingis.

    Even with the downsides of being a international prospect, with the potential to be a very productive NBA player, the Croatian Hezonja should be a target by every team in need of a wing, including the Detroit Pistons.

    What do you think about Mario Hezonja? Is he he worthy enough for the Detroit Pistons to consider for the eighth overall pick? Should the Pistons target a different player with their first round pick? Share your opinion in the comment section below.

    Next: Pistons Keeping Options Open for 2015 NBA Draft

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